August 12, 2020

Prevalence of COVID-19 infection in New York State HCWs

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This study of healthcare workers (HCWs) in a tertiary New York State hospital finds that the rate of COVID-19 infection in HCWs is lower than what has been reported for the general public in the region.

Of 3,046 HCWs, 1,699 had antibody testing, 617 had RT-PCR testing, and 359 had both tests.


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A total of 167 (9.8%) HCWs tested positive for antibodies. Comparing the prevalence of antibodies in HCWs with the rate reported by the State of New York for the general public, HCWs had a significantly lower positive rate (9.9% vs 16.7%).

HCWs with positive antibody tests were similar in age and gender, and there was no significant difference between races or whether HCWs worked in high or low exposure areas.

The findings provide strong evidence that current personal protective equipment practices protect HCWs, the researchers say.

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